Ngige Capitulates To Labour, Inaugurates NSITF Board
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has succumbed to pressure from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to inaugurate the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) board. Ngige inaugurated the new NSITF board on Monday morning after a two-year delay.
This comes amidst a nationwide protest embarked upon this morning by the NLC over the leadership tussle of NSITF board. The minister’s delay in inaugurating the board reportedly stemmed from the union and labour ministry’s backing of different persons for the NSITF board chairmanship.
The minister announced the chairman of the new board as Austin Enejomo-Isire. This is against the wish of the NLC which wanted a labour leader Frank Kokori to head the Fund.
Speaking during the board’s inquartation in Abuja, Ngige blamed the two-year delay on the “massive looting in the organisation between 2012 and 2015″.
The minister claimed that N48 billion out of the 62.5 billion contributed to the Fund during the said period was uncounted for, adding that N25 billion was withdrawn without vouchers between that period.
THE WHISTLER had reported how some protesting NLC members last week picketed Nigege’s Asokoro residence in Abuja to protest against the refusal of the minister to inaugurate the NSITF board.
A media aide to the minster, Mr Ngige Nwachukwu, told our correspondent on Wednesday that Mr Nigige was meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa while the protesting labour leaders laid a siege to the minister’s residence.
Nwachukwu lamented how the protesters chanted “war songs” that “sent heavy panic” on the minster’s family members.